I am thrilled to be back with my cousin onboard the Celebrity Solstice to review the cruise ship’s culinary operation as well as experience a Top Chef at Sea signature sailing. Our cruise is one of four such sailings that Celebrity Cruises is offering this year. I will be going over the Top Chef at Sea experience and the cooking demos with the chef’testants in a later post.

Celebrity Cruises has always been known for its dining options, food quality, and culinary operation long before Top Chef came onboard. Even though we are only halfway through our cruise experience so far, we have been able to enjoy the three specialty restaurants that the Solstice has to offer. The three onboard are Murano, Silk Harvest, and Tuscan Grille.

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Murano’s Pork Belly
(Copyright © Jason Leppert)

Murano

Murano offers guests classically prepared French cuisine in an elegant and inviting atmosphere. Being a classically trained chef in French cuisine, I truly appreciate the elevated cuisine and elements that this restaurant has to offer like a cheese cart and table-side preparations of certain dishes; I mean who doesn’t enjoy a good show.

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Warm Goat Cheese Soufflé
(Copyright © Jason Leppert)

Murano offers a wide variety of dishes via their a la carte menu as well as having a five course tasting menu accompanied by five wines at an additional surcharge. Some of the standout dishes on the menu include phyllo wrapped pear, warm goat cheese soufflé, diver scallop wellington with black truffles, and chocolate soufflé.

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Diver Scallop Wellington Style
(Copyright © Jason Leppert)

However, the real showstopper on the menu is the Murano lobster (pictured in the header above), which is prepared tableside by your waiter. Not only does it look incredible when it is flambéed in front of you, but the dish is very balanced considering the richness of certain ingredients. This is by far one of my favorite lobster dishes that I have had the pleasure to try.

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Editor’s Pick: Five-Spice Crusted Cervena Venison Loin
(Copyright © Jason Leppert)

Silk Harvest

Silk Harvest offers guests a taste of the Far East highlighting dishes from China, Japan, and Thailand. This specialty restaurant truly is a gem with a wide variety of dishes on their menu to choose from, and this is a great place to get multiple dishes for the whole table to share.

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Cream Cheese Wontons
(Copyright © Jason Leppert)

My personal favorite dish on the menu is the cream cheese wontons appetizer. They are definitely a must have, and while you are at, you might as well order two more helpings because you will definitely want more after you finish with the first one.

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Sushi: Solstice and Equinox Rolls
(Copyright © Jason Leppert)

Other highlights on the menu include the Equinox sushi roll, chicken fried rice, orange chicken, hunan beef, and pearls of Asia coconut milk.

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Hunan Beef
(Copyright © Jason Leppert)

Tuscan Grille

Lastly, we have Tuscan Grille that offers guests Italian fare in a steakhouse setting with stunning views of the wake off the back of the ship. Tuscan Grille’s menu is quite expansive including appetizers, salads, soups, pastas, steaks, and desserts. There really is something for everyone on this menu, and most likely you will find multiple items in all courses that interest you.

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Steak Tartare
(Copyright © Jason Leppert)

My only criticism that I have for the restaurant would be that I ordered a ribeye steak medium rare and received it well done. If you are a steakhouse, proper cooking temperatures of your meats are of paramount importance.

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Golden Saffron Risotto
(Copyright © Jason Leppert)

The dishes that I was impressed with were the arugula salad with crispy goat cheese, steak tartare, and the golden saffron risotto.

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Ribeye Steak
(Copyright © Jason Leppert)

I am looking forward to attending all of the Top Chef at Sea events tomorrow including the quickfire challenge, private cooking lesson with Paul Qui, and private dinner with Tiffani Faison. Stay tuned for my review on all things Top Chef at Sea in my next post. Until then, ciao and remember to enjoy life one bite at a time!

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Top Chef at Sea Chef’testants (from left to right) Tiffani Faison, Nina Compton, Brooke Williamson and Paul Qui
(Copyright © Jason Leppert)

For more information on the Celebrity Solstice, visit Celebrity Cruises‘ website here.

HEADER IMAGE SOURCE: JASON LEPPERT

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